Rumble will rattle RFL


Boat races, fireworks, sassafras music, car show, more at Rocky Fork this weekend

By Jeff Gilliland - [email protected]



A trio of hydroplane race boats throw up rooster tails during a past event held on Rocky Fork Lake.

A trio of hydroplane race boats throw up rooster tails during a past event held on Rocky Fork Lake.


Times-Gazette file photo

A explosion of noise will rattle the Rocky Fork State Park area this weekend when Rumble in the Hills, featuring hydroplane boat races, fireworks, a sassafras musical festival and more returns after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

“We want to keep it going for the great people of Rocky Fork Lake, the surrounding area, and those that come from all over the country,” said Mike McGuire, the co-event coordinator along with his father, Joey McGuire of Joey’s Pizza.

For those unable to make it to the races in person, the live broadcast will stream online, in addition to the live coverage on the public address system, at https://boatracing.tkdssports.com/…/inboard-racing…/.

Thunder in the Hills runs all day both Saturday and Sunday.

Racing takes place on the east side of the lake from about 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. The fireworks display begins at dusk Saturday, the Sassafras Music Festival starts at 2 p.m. Sunday, and Joey’s Classic Car Show starts with registration from 12-3 p.m. Sunday with trophies awarded at 4:30 p.m.

There will also be flea market vendors, food vendors, a kid’s zone, a Family Traditions Animal Adventure with animals and an education time, a beer garden, a coloring contest, caricature drawings, face painting and possibly other activities.

The kids area will include a face painter, magician, campfire songs, games, crafts and more.

Most of the events will take place at the Overlook Retreat area off Lucas Lane on the lake’s east side, but there will be food vendors on both sides of the lake.

The racers will be running for American Power Boat Association points and the course that runs around two islands has been sanctioned for world records. In past years more than 20 world records have been set on the course, which has long been a racers’ favorite because the two islands break up the wake created by the boats.

“First, we would like to stress the fact that the races themselves are very exciting,” Mike McGuire previously said. “The boats, and their fearless drivers, exceed speeds well over 100 mph and are truly racing NASCAR style on the water. The races are sanctioned by the American Powerboat Association (APBA) and we are happy to have them as a partner.”

Event organizers could still use volunteers in short shifts doing things like delivering lunches to the folks putting on the race. All volunteers will be fed and receive a T-shirt. Anyone interested can send a message to the Rumble in the Hills Facebook page.

“Thank you to all the members of the Rocky Fork Lake community, and we are very excited about this year’s event,” McGuire said. “… We ask that anyone reading this plans on stopping by (this) weekend, having fun, and supporting our local community. Lastly, … remember that we have a few surprises that you will only see in person (this) weekend.”

Following is the event schedule:

Saturday, July 30

9 a.m. — Opening ceremony (Overlook Retreat area on Lucas Lane)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Racing (viewable from both sides of the lake)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Flea market (Overlook Retreat area on Lucas Lane)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — (Overlook Retreat area on Lucas Lane)

10 a.m. to dark — Food vendors (both sides of the lake)

Dark — Fireworks (viewable from both sides of the lake)

Sunday, July 31

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Racing (viewable from both sides of the lake)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Joey’s Classic Car Show (Overlook Retreat area on Lucas Lane)

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Kids Zone (Overlook Retreat area on Lucas Lane)

10 a.m. to dark — Food Vendors (both sides of the lake)

Reach Jeff Gilliland at 947-402-2522.

A trio of hydroplane race boats throw up rooster tails during a past event held on Rocky Fork Lake.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2022/07/web1_Lake-pic-4.jpgA trio of hydroplane race boats throw up rooster tails during a past event held on Rocky Fork Lake. Times-Gazette file photo
Boat races, fireworks, sassafras music, car show, more at Rocky Fork this weekend

By Jeff Gilliland

[email protected]